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Puerto Rico Strong

by Vita Ayala (Contributor), Marco Lopez (Editor), Hazel Newlevant (Editor), Desiree Rodriguez (Editor), Derek Ruiz (Editor)1 more, Neil Schwartz (Editor)

Other authors: Grant Alter (Contributor), Greg Anderson-Elysee (Contributor), Aldo Álvarez (Contributor), Orlando Baez (Contributor), Tony Bedard (Contributor)56 more, Tom Beland (Contributor), Matt Bellisle (Contributor), Heidi Black (Contributor), Brett Booth (Contributor), Dennis Calero (Contributor), Sabrina Cintron (Contributor), Rosa Colon (Contributor), Little Corvus (Contributor), Sofia Davila (Contributor), Vito Delsante (Contributor), Mina Elwell (Contributor), Rod Espinosa (Contributor), Kat Fajardo (Contributor), Eliana Falcón-Dvorsky (Contributor), Naomi Franquiz (Cover artist), Adam Lance Garcia (Contributor), Ronnie Garcia (Contributor), Joamette Gil (Contributor), Jeff Gomez (Contributor), Leonardo Gonzalez (Contributor), Nicole Goux (Contributor), Mike Hawthorne (Contributor), John R. Holmes (Contributor), Daniel Irizarri Oquendo (Contributor), Jamie Jones (Contributor), Ariela Kristantina (Contributor), Marco Lopez (Contributor), Tara Martinez (Contributor), Alan Medina (Contributor), Adriana Melo (Contributor), Yehudi Mercardo (Contributor), Dan Mendez Moore (Contributor), Javier Morillo (Contributor), Shariff Musallam (Contributor), Fabian Nicieza (Contributor), Amparo Ortiz (Contributor), Anthony Otero (Contributor), Manuel Preitano (Contributor), Alejandra Quintas (Contributor), Jules Rivera (Contributor), Lilliam Rivera (Contributor), Alejandro Rosado (Contributor), Derek Ruiz (Contributor), Jesenia Santana (Contributor), Ramon J. Sierra Santiago (Contributor), Cynthia Santos (Contributor), Neil Schwartz (Contributor), Eugene Selassie (Contributor), Alexis Sergio (Contributor), Alberto Tito Serrano (Contributor), Ally Shwed (Contributor), Allison Strejlau (Contributor), Tristan J. Tarwater (Contributor), Charles Ooge Ugas (Contributor), Kristen Van Dam (Contributor), Javier Cruz Winnik (Contributor)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
635314,368 (3.8)1
"Puerto Rico Strong is a comics anthology that explores what it means to be Puerto Rican and the diversity that exists within that concept, from today's most exciting Puerto Rican comics creators" --
  1. 00
    Ricanstruction: Reminiscing & Rebuilding Puerto Rico by Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez (villemezbrown)
    villemezbrown: Another graphic anthology raising funds and awareness in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

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Showing 5 of 5
An anthology means something for everyone, and that's especially true of a comics anthology, because in addition to the different subject matter each story tackles, there are different artistic styles as well. Most of the stories are personal to some degree or another, delving into family history and heritage and the ways that Puerto Ricans remain connected to the island even when they aren't living there.

The topics in this anthology range from Taino mythology to the brutal history of the Spanish conquistadors, who largely wiped out the Taino people on Boriken and then replaced the Taino population with enslaved West Africans. Poor treatment of Puerto Rico continues through to the present day, as is evident by the U.S. response to the destruction of Hurricane Maria (especially compared to the U.S. response to the Hurricane Harvey, which hit Texas). Puerto Rico Strong also includes family histories - many Puerto Ricans have worked on the mainland, served in the military, and many women were the subjects of early birth control tests (unknown to them, a major violation of informed consent).

One hopes that this collection will do at least a small part to inform readers of the strength of Puerto Rico and its people - these unique Americans - despite the ways they've been taken taken advantage of and mistreated for centuries.


What unites us as a people isn't just the culture we come from, but the one we carry with us. (Alan Medina, 18)

"I'm learning that they tell us a lot of stuff...For real, there's a lot of stuff that's not in our books..." (Javier Cruz Winnick, 146)

There's nothing you can do about the past. You can only remember it and use it to shape your tomorrows. (Amparo Ortiz,198, inspired by the poetry of Julia de Burgos) ( )
  JennyArch | Nov 26, 2019 |
An excellent example of what an anthology can and should be. With a powerful unifying message, each story adds a unique flavor of art and narrative, paying homage to a vital and vibrant part of our world. ( )
  emeraldreverie | Nov 15, 2018 |
A good cause is supported by a fairly consistent anthology that offers a good balance between being educational and entertaining. My one gripe is that most of the strips had an inspirational or hope-filled bent that seem sort of passive in the big picture. I would have liked to see a little more outrage like in Tom Beland's entry or some concrete proposals for next steps in the recovery of the island. ( )
  villemezbrown | Jul 28, 2018 |
If this is to be our lives, we must live them, with compassion and pride
- Desiree Rodriguez, co-editor

Puerto Rico Strong: A Comics Anthology Supporting Puerto Rico Disaster brings together many of Puerto Rico’s best comics creators in response to the devastation wrought by Hurricanes Irma and Maria last year. As in any anthology, I liked some of the stories better than others and that is also true of the art. Some of the stories are personal, even romantic but the majority and the ones I most appreciated highlight the culture, the history, and the diversity of the Puerto Rican people. And, of course, the beauty of the island that is reflected in the colouring that is vibrant throughout.

There are also stories about the effects of the hurricanes and the dismal response of the American government as well as many in the US population who seem to be unaware that Puerto Rico is a part of the US. Sadly, as some of the stories about the history of the island show, this response was not an aberration limited only to this time period or this Administration perhaps because Puerto Rico, as an unincorporated territory can't vote. One story especially, The Puerto Rican Birth Control Trials by Ally Schwed was particularly shocking as well as poignant; I was previously aware of coerced sterilization not only of Puerto Rican women but of African American, First Nations, and even poor whites but I was completely unaware of these tests.

For anyone interested in the culture and/or the history of Puerto Rico as well the government”s response to the disaster last year, this is a must-read. And to make it even better, the monies earned from the sale of this graphic novel will go to UNIDOS Disaster Relief & Recovery Program to Support Puerto Rico.

Thanks to Netgalley and Diamond Distributors/Lion Forge for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review ( )
  lostinalibrary | May 4, 2018 |
Wonderful idea, so-so execution.

(Full disclosure: I received a free e-ARC for review through Netgalley/Edelweiss.)

Spurred by the Drumpf administration's shameful response to Hurricanes Irma and Maria, not to mention the misinformed and callous attitudes of so many mainland American citizens, writers, editors, and artists came together to create a comics anthology to support disaster relief on the island. The proceeds from Puerto Rico Strong will benefit UNIDOS Disaster Relief & Recovery Program to Support Puerto Rico - and the many #ownvoices contributions will hopefully combat the dangerous and often racist beliefs about PR and those who call the island home.


I wanted to love this collection more than I did. It's a great idea to support an admirable cause, and I love that so many of the artists are of Puerto Rican descent. Yet, as is the case with many anthologies, the comics are uneven, both in terms of the storytelling as well as the artwork. I have no desire to single anyone out, but some of the art is simply terrible; in one particular strip, the humans resemble lumpy potatoes with misshapen biceps the size of their equally misshapen heads. Many of the comics feel short; too short to cover any given topic in anything but the most shallow and perfunctory way. More often than not I came away from a piece feeling as though there was so much more to be said.

I feel like I learned quite a bit from Puerto Rico Strong, yet considering my starting point this isn't a huge compliment. Like many white readers (probably), I don't remember learning much, if anything, about Puerto Rico in my high school American History class. (For shame!)

My favorite comics were those that explored Puerto Rican history, from coercive sterilization ("La Operación" and "The Puerto Rican Birth Control Trials," both by Ally Schwed), to the institution of the Jones Act of 1917 and the racist military drafting policies that soon followed ("Macondo, Puerto Rico" by Javier Morillo and Dan Méndez Moore), and the history and religion of the Taíno Indians (the island's native Arawak inhabitants). There's also some pretty neat sci-fi that imagines the place Puerto Rico might occupy in humanity's future, fifty or more years down the road (see, e.g. "Pasitos Grandes," by Tristan J. Tarwater and Cynthia Santos).

http://www.easyvegan.info/2018/04/27/puerto-rico-strong-edited-by-hazel-newlevan... ( )
  smiteme | Mar 28, 2018 |
Showing 5 of 5
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ayala, VitaContributorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lopez, MarcoEditormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Newlevant, HazelEditormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Rodriguez, DesireeEditormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Ruiz, DerekEditormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Schwartz, NeilEditormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Alter, GrantContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Anderson-Elysee, GregContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Álvarez, AldoContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Baez, OrlandoContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bedard, TonyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Beland, TomContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bellisle, MattContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Black, HeidiContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Booth, BrettContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Calero, DennisContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cintron, SabrinaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Colon, RosaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Corvus, LittleContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Davila, SofiaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Delsante, VitoContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Elwell, MinaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Espinosa, RodContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Fajardo, KatContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Falcón-Dvorsky, ElianaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Franquiz, NaomiCover artistsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Garcia, Adam LanceContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Garcia, RonnieContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gil, JoametteContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gomez, JeffContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gonzalez, LeonardoContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Goux, NicoleContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hawthorne, MikeContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Holmes, John R.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Irizarri Oquendo, DanielContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Jones, JamieContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kristantina, ArielaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lopez, MarcoContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Martinez, TaraContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Medina, AlanContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Melo, AdrianaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Mercardo, YehudiContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Moore, Dan MendezContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Morillo, JavierContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Musallam, ShariffContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Nicieza, FabianContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ortiz, AmparoContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Otero, AnthonyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Preitano, ManuelContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Quintas, AlejandraContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Rivera, JulesContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Rivera, LilliamContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Rosado, AlejandroContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ruiz, DerekContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Santana, JeseniaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Santiago, Ramon J. SierraContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Santos, CynthiaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Schwartz, NeilContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Selassie, EugeneContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sergio, AlexisContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Serrano, Alberto TitoContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Shwed, AllyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Strejlau, AllisonContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Tarwater, Tristan J.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ugas, Charles OogeContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Van Dam, KristenContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Winnik, Javier CruzContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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